Development Matters - Newsletter Issue II
Editorial by Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP in Pakistan
Rukhsana relied on the support of her extended family when her husband was laid off from his job at a factory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With support from the UNDP Community Resilience initiative she received training in tailoring and embroidery, and she also learned valuable entrepreneurial skills. Due to skills enhancement efforts, household incomes of more than 4,000 people have increased by 15 percent in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
In the second edition of Development Matters, I am pleased to share such stories of transformational change achieved by communities in collaboration with our development partners. Our focus on strengthening community resilience contributes to longer term development goals, such as livelihood creation, and increases the legitimacy of state institutions through improved public services.
Not only are we empowering communities in Balochistan, KP and FATA to work together and strengthen local support groups, but we are also providing training to provincial and local government officials to improve public service delivery. Our community projects have helped reduce poverty and also made the communities more resilient to external shocks.
For this development work to be sustainable, it must be supported by local governments. Investments need to be accompanied by changes and improvements in governance structures. Local government elections are a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for establishing local governance. More needs to be done. A robust legal framework is needed to ensure that local governments meet the development needs and priorities of these communities.
FATA is the country's most underdeveloped region in terms of even basic facilities like health care and education, and its people are vulnerable to armed threats and natural disasters. The local governance mechanisms in FATA must be strengthened so local self-governance and service delivery can be effectively carried out by the people themselves.
In partnership with the Government of Japan, our social cohesion and peace building programme for communities in FATA living adjacent to the Peshawar-Torkham expressway is improving livelihoods through skills enhancement efforts. It is also creating linkages between the communities and government officials to lead social services interventions and restore public infrastructure.
This edition's featured partner, the Government of Japan, is an essential partner in our sustainable development work in Pakistan. Japan has established three priority areas for its assistance in the country: improvement of economic infrastructure; ensuring human security and improving social infrastructure; and balanced and stable regional development, including in the border region.
Japan and UNDP have worked together for many years in Pakistan, particularly on post-disaster recovery efforts, community resilience and democratic governance. Japan is supporting our Social Cohesion and Peace Building Programme for the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas that stresses the importance of developing the skills of provincial and local governments to better serve their communities. The Government of Japan also supports local partners in rebuilding livelihoods in the crisis affected areas of Malakand region.
We will continue to work closely with communities, donors and government counterparts to ensure that our work is coordinated and effective.